For many people, Facebook—once a social network they wanted to spend their time on—has become something of a necessary evil. All their friends are there, so it’s too precious to lose contacts. And it’s often where people announce weddings, babies, and career shifts, so you stand to miss out on a lot of information if you decide to deactivate an account.
However, while Facebook has been holding onto a lot of users for some time on the basis of this “address book” factor, that may be starting to change. The company’s ever-changing list of new features—recent additions include a Snapchat rip-off of Stories, status updates that appear as colorful blocks of text, and a confusing alternate news feed—have ended up muddling its core mission, leaving many long-time users more annoyed and eager to spend their time on more streamlined platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
As one particularly damning post in Mashable put it, “The network, in its efforts to become a bit more social again, has drowned users in new features, tests and other distracting knickknacks — and for perhaps the first time in the service’s 13-year history, it’s not altogether clear what you’re supposed to do when you log in each day.”
But it’s not just features that are fatiguing users. For long-time users of the network, many of whom began Facebooking in their teens, it is frustrating that Facebook does not offer an easy way to “clean up” your past history. While it is possible to delete individual albums and posts, there is not “mass delete” tool, wherein you can wipe the slate clean but still maintain your friend list and account. Considering that Facebook is consistently in the headlines regarding how it’s using the data of its users, this is troubling to a lot of people. It’s getting to a point where they would rather have no Facebook than Facebook have all their data.
Because of all these reasons and more, the trend of deleting Facebook seems to be on the rise. A Google search of “quitting Facebook” seems to come up with more and more posts endorsing the move, such as one in Mashable that said: “It has never before been easier to completely remove Facebook from your life — not missing a single social beat in the process. And when you finally do, you’ll wonder what took you so long in the first place.”
So if you’re one of those people who is ready to quit Facebook and wants to ease the transition to a post Facebook life, here are some tips to follow.
Figure out what social media you do want to use: In the absence of Facebook, you may find yourself stepping up your other social media networks a bit. That’s a good idea, but just make sure your existing Facebook friend circle knows that before you take the leap. Post a couple status updates two to three weeks before you delete your account where you announce that you’ve decided to leave the network and invite people to follow you where you post: Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat etc.
Reach out to close friends and contacts: Once you’ve done the above step, reach out to the people that really matter privately on Messenger. Explain your decision and make sure they have your phone number, email, and/or preferred messaging options. If you’re connected via WhatsApp, you may find there is little difference in the way you chat once you’ve deleted Facebook.
Consider a newsletter: One of the reasons a lot of people don’t want to delete Facebook is if they are a content creator who wants to share what they make. If this is you, consider starting a newsletter with a free and easy service like TinyLetter. With this, you can update friends, family, and followers of your career events, new blog posts, articles or general personal news. This can be a more considered way to keep everyone in the loop.